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In a document attached to this issue, European Report presents the complete text of the European Council's Conclusions (see previous issue for further details of the debates on social and economic questions).Energy, transport, public services.The compromise reached by Heads of State and Government on the liberalisation of energy markets was interpreted as a success by the French delegation, led for the last time by Jacques Chirac and Lionel Jospin, who will face off in a few weeks' time for the Presidency of the French Republic. After a great deal of procrastination, Paris finally agreed to a plan for opening up to competition of gas and electricity markets for non-household users in 2004, which, according to the Council's Conclusions, should represent "at least 60% of the market", double the current level of market liberalisation in France. According to Commission projections, this corresponds to the average share in Europe of companies consuming at least 5 GWh of electricity or 9,000 m3 of gas per year per site. By contrast, France stood its ground in refusing to subscribe to any precise commitment on the opening of the market for households and private individuals. Mr Jospin explained that "experience abroad, notably in Sweden and the United Kingdom, demonstrates that liberalisation does not lead to a cut in prices on the domestic market". It was nevertheless agreed that other unspecified measures might be agreed at the Summit in Spring 2003. An arrangement was likewise found to resolve the problem raised by Germany regarding the notion of national regulators, a concept that runs counter to regional structures in the Federal Republic. The regulating body will thus be set in an "adequate regulatory framework". These various amendments to deadline and the substance of proposals will be integrated into Directives already on the Council table and which have completed their first reading before the European Parliament. In spite of the changes pushed though in Barcelona, European Council President Jos? Maria Aznar insisted agreement remains "fundamental". European Commission President Romano Prodi drew a similar analysis insisting "there is a political commitment to the next stages".Other amendments to liberalisation targets already agreed by Member States nevertheless lead to the conclusion that Barcelona witnessed a shift in emphasis. Again under pressure from France, the European Council agreed to strike out the 2004 deadline and the reference to an "acceleration of work" in implementing the second "railway package", which provides notably, after transposition, for the liberalisation of freight and cabotage by 2006. Just for good measure, France also secured the submission of a Commission Communication by the end of the year with a view to giving form to Article 16 of the Treaty through a Framework Directive on services of general economic interest. Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker insisted "attachment to the notion of public service is not specifically French and that...

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